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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(5), 5715-5728; doi:10.3390/ijms13055715
Article

Immune Responses in Pigs Induced by Recombinant DNA Vaccine Co-Expressing Swine IL-18 and Membrane Protein of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus

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Received: 21 February 2012 / Revised: 15 April 2012 / Accepted: 3 May 2012 / Published: 11 May 2012
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Abstract

In this study, two DNA vaccines, which express the membrane (M) protein of porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV) (pEGFP-M) and co-express both M and swine IL-18 (pEGFP-IL18-M), were constructed and their abilities to induce humoral and cellular responses in piglets were comparatively evaluated. Experimental results showed that both recombinant DNA vaccines could not elicit neutralizing antibodies in the immunized piglets. However, both DNA vaccines elicited Th1-biased cellular immune responses. Notably, pigs immunized with the plasmid pEGFP-IL18-M developed significantly higher levels of IFN-γ and IL-2 production response and stronger specific T-lymphocyte proliferation response than the pigs inoculated with the plasmids pEGFP-M and pEGFP-IL18 (P < 0.05). These results illustrated that co-expression of M and IL-18 proteins could significantly improve the potency of DNA vaccination on the activation of vaccine-induced virus-specific cell-mediated immune responses in pigs, which may be used as a strategy to develop a new generation of vaccines against highly pathogenic PRRSV.
Keywords: PRRS; M protein; IL-18; immune response; DNA vaccine PRRS; M protein; IL-18; immune response; DNA vaccine
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zhang, X.; Wang, X.; Mu, L.; Ding, Z. Immune Responses in Pigs Induced by Recombinant DNA Vaccine Co-Expressing Swine IL-18 and Membrane Protein of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 5715-5728.

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